a few steps back

I found a set of stock CL450 carbs on ebay and a throttle cable. They should be in the mail on Thursday. Not sure when I'll get back to the shop to do the swap. Plus, I still need to clean out the carbs on the 350 and pick up another rebuild kit. Once they're clean, I'll box 'em up and build them at home. Maybe even do the same to the new set of stock carbs. I might sell the Mikuni carbs and just keep the stockers.

With winter starting to settle around the Midwest, prime garage time is upon us. We need a new heater for the garage but I think we're pushing it with our extension cord fiasco. Our power supply is pretty limited to 2 outlets. Guess we're gonna need a few more extension cords! If we stay focused, it shouldn't be a problem to get the 450 and 350 road worthy by spring. I'm gonna do it for the lowest cost. Probably get a set of cheap Ching Shin tires from Cycle Recycle II. Maybe trade those Mikunis for the parts I need.

There's a ton of work that Funkz wants to do to the 750. It will be fun to dig into a new engine, plus it's a SOHC, so that makes it easier. We don't have too much to do to his bike. Getting the engine out will be a big pain in the butt. It's a monster and probably weighs about 200lbs.

In about 3 months, we should be able to roll out all 3 bikes with engines roaring. The RedQueen wants to get some saddle time on the CL350 at Mike's place. I'm glad she's looking forward to it. We both need to find a MSF course to take during the spring. My riding manners are still pretty green, so I know it will definitely help me. We've even talked about riding to Vintage Days and maybe the DOOM ride with UTMC.

slacking time is up... back to work.


shop time

Mike and I hit the shop yesterday and dug into a few projects. He brought down the Norton and the red CB350. We fired up the heaters, turned up the Black Sabbath and began on the Norton. After a short examination we found that his main shaft was sheared off. Might explain why it wasn't really going together right. So we put it back in the van and wheeled in the 350.

The front brake needs to be rebuilt and the fork is about as firm as jello. The carbs are dismantled but I have 1 complete rebuild kit and one partial. The clutch is gummed up and the cable probably needs to be replaced. Plus the standard sprockets, chain, tires and filters. The tank is from a CL so it's a bit short and nasty inside. That will need to be swapped in the future. Shouldn't take much to be a fun little scoots. We got it to fire up w/starting fluid. The first two or three times it blew out some carbon but on the last kick it was pretty clean.

Even the 450 got some attention. Still haven't sold it yet. We decided to find a set of stock carbs to swap with the Mikunis. That way we're only fighting one front at a time. Maybe take the other route and put points back on it. Definitely cheaper that way.

Here's a pic of the 350:


long time no blog

This Sunday, Mike is bringing down the Norton and with any luck, we'll have it's tranny installed and functioning properly. He's also bringing down the CL350 so I can do some wrenching on it over the winter. I'll have to get a pic of the 350 and 450 next to each other. They'll look like long lost siblings or at least step-siblings.

If all goes well, we might venture out in the December air for a quick ride. It all depends on the temperature and conditions. I've never done any cold weather riding, so I'm applying my camping/backpacking techniques for keeping warm. I'm pretty cold blooded by nature, so staying completely warm is pretty difficult. I picked up a helmet liner that doubles as a balaclava. Not to be confused the tasty Greek dessert, baklava. I think with that, a fleece scarf, my riding jacket, jeans, insulation layers and gloves, I should be ok. Man that's a lot of commas...

Any winter riding tips?

In nonriding news, most of my Christmas shopping is done. I still have a few select things to buy for my Mom and Dad. Not sure what I'm getting her but something black and orange for the HD store will please my Dad. He's a Harley rider but loves anything with two wheels (except sport bikes). The RedQueen has quite a few surprises coming her way. Might even top last years gift. Last year I picked up a decent Martin guitar for her since she loves to play but doesn't have a guitar.

Well... time to skip out of work early!

bundle up and stay safe if you're braving the winter roads!


2wheels for 2 rings....

The RedQueen and I have set a wedding date, April 7th, 2007. It should take place somewhere in central Indiana. I decided to sell my bike to help fund the wedding and just grab another scoot next spring. The Frankencycle rocks but I'll gladly be bike impaired for a bit and have some of the stress or ring shopping chipped away. If you or anyone you know is interested you can check the ad:


Of course the price is flexible.

In other news...there is no other news. I've been sick with the Zombie Death Flu. Or as it's more commonly known, Acute Bronchitis with a touch of Pneumonia.




Why can't a US company build a true classic style bike? Krugger has a few other bikes I like better than this one but I can't get you pics.



burnin' up the fretboards....

That's right, Junior Brown. Saw him last night with RedQueen and Funkz. It was an amazing show. My friend used to tell me that you never can fully appreciate Junior Brown until you see him live. Holy crap! To top it all off, he's a riot on stage. Cracking jokes, messing with the crowd and twisting sounds out of BigRed that seem impossible. Plus, he's from Kirksville, IN. He played a few tracks I had never heard before and they were cracking me up! Here you go:

In Moto News:

We might get ride time this Sunday in Kokomo. Last week we had to skip out on it due to having a case of the plague. Friday and Saturday are gonna be super busy if we're gonna make it to Mike's on Sunday. We're moving across the hall to the new 2 bdrm apartment. Doesn't sound too bad right? But we have to paint the new one and clean the old one.

I finally got my pilot jets but haven't had the time to install them. Maybe next week or weekend. I also got a new riding jacket since mine is too big for my scrawny frame. The new jacket fits a lot better. It's reinforced denim with leather sleeves and CE armor all around. I still need to get some good riding pants but I have my eye on a set from Hein Gericke. They've got some cool stuff, check 'em out:


a favor?

I know some of you out there have access to temporary or demo versions of cds. Anyone have a copy of "The Great Beast Speaks"? If so, I sure would like to borrow it for a day or two. Or perhaps you need a backup copy made, which helps protect your investment...


15 minutes put to good use...

Land O Lakes has introduced new instant fancy pants coffee. I like coffee, so I got a pack when RQ and I were at the store. It's been sitting in my desk for almost a week, today my morning caffiene will be complimented by some fun.

Everyone knows the trick with the Land O Lakes girl and folding the box. If not, here's the long and the short of it. You cut out the mini box of butter that the Indian Girl's (Native American if you want to get picky) hands and fold the box. If done correctly, her knees will bear a striking resemblence to her "twins".

Well, I decided to bring this into the 21st Century. It's not quite as easy but it still works:

Hahaha! I love it! Sorry for the crappy pic but it's the best I can do.

(No moto news today just good ol' fashion dirty fun)



The new and improved Frankencycle:

The RedQueen looking coy:

Sorry to confuse people but the red and black 450 I posted isn't mine. It's damn cool though! The Frankencycle doesn't look too different than the last time I posted pics. It has the Mikunis and Uni filters installed which make it look hella tough. It will look even better with some number plates over the filters.

I'm not sure if I'll get shop time this weekend due to possible overtime at work. But, I will be riding the 350 again on Sunday and some MX bikes. I'll try to get some pics of all the fun.

Last weekend, we went back to Kokomo for more riding. The RedQueen is getting comfy on two wheels and will be ripping it up before we know it. I went for a long ride on the CL350 and it was a blast. I had my baptism by fire with traffic and crosswinds. I got a little nervous with the bad wind but I calmed myself down and just leaned into it. The 350 is a bit wobbly over 65mph, especially with crosswinds. After an hour of riding we headed back and picked up RQ. She rode on the back of Funkz 750 because I'm nowhere near ready for riding 2up. All in all it was a great weekend. I know I still need a lot of practice and I'm looking forward to more ride time (on my bike or the 350). Plus, RQ and I want to take the MSF course next year. Anywho, gotta work....


Holy Crap!!!!

After all the hard work, broken parts, angry words and stress, it's finally done (for the most part)! My bike finally runs under it's own power. It needs some fine tuning and a few odd bits finished up but it runs dammit! We put 2 miles on it and damn it's bad ass.

The pipes are crazy loud. It takes a fair amount of throttle to get off the line but getting the carbs straightened out should take care of that. It also bogs down in 2nd and 3rd. The idle takes a bit drop down after closing the throttle. The tac needs to be fixed too. I'm freaking stoked!!! I have a running bike that was built from boxes of parts and 2 dead bikes.

Thanks to everyone who helped me and urged me not to go the easy route and sell it.

(I have witnesses and a crappy video if you're in doubt!)

3 days of motorized mayhem!

Tonight we'll be hitting the shop in hopes of buttoning up the remaining work on my bike. I got my Uni filters in the mail and a can of aersol oil. Thankfully it all turned out to be cheaper than I thought. Got all the bits at dealer price. Guess it was worth the extra wait time. Maybe a test start? Maybe not. We'll see how the work goes.

Saturday we'll be going back to INS for hours of dirt track racing. Sunday we're heading back up to the compound to ride the trails. I imagine I'll get a little street time in on the CL360. Maybe a group ride to Sonic for lunch? RedQueen is excited about getting back on two wheels. She did great last time and I'm looking forward to watching/helping her progress.

Rumor has it that Surly might be attending the race as well.




Thanks to the BMV's inaccurate calculator on their website, I know have enough spare cash to order my filters! The site said my plates would cost $95, but they were only $70. So, I placed an order with Competitive Edge in Cali for two 57mm 5inch filters and a can of aersol oil spray. I know the Unis are supposed to be crappy and have a short life but it's all I can afford right now.

No garage time this week but maybe next weekend. RedQueen and I are headed to Nashville to do some lazy car camping with her family. It should be an adventure, the pup's never been on a long road trip before. I'll try to post some pics when we get back.

In moto news, I decided to not use my old airbox covers. Instead, I'm going to get 2 number plates (sporting the number 13) to cover my filters. I still need a set of tires but those might wait until spring. I doubt I'll get much road time this year and the present set is good enough for tooling around short distances. I have a lot of mods I'd like to do over the winter if we get Frankencycle running before then. Future plans include:

- number plate covers
- cut down factory seat
- repaint headlight mounts
- new tank (longer cafe style)
- cut original muffler off and replace
with Emgo Shorty or Tapered exhausts
- replace stock brake light and signals

That's all I can think of with standing infront it and letting my imagination run wild. Man, I'm still giddy from my ride on Sunday. One day I'll be giddy from riding my own bike! When it runs, I'll post a video as proof.


dirt trails and shotgun shells

Yesterday the RedQueen, Funkz, Ruby and I went to Mike's place. It was great! He had 4 XR100s running and his CL360. His friend Jerry spent sometime with RQ teaching her the basics of clutch work and controls. She did great, much better than my first time on a bike when I was a kid. Next time, she'll be ready for more actual ride time. While she was getting instruction, we ripped around on the XRs, then brought out the ATV. The RedQueen and I hopped on the quad and followed everyone around the trails back in the woods, then played on the flattrack. It was too wet to ride the track so we just cruised around the outer edge.

After some dirt riding, we headed back and Mike let me ride the 360. It was good to get a bit of street time in. It's all straight country roads around there, which is good because I need the practice. It even started to rain a bit but I cruised on. I went a couple of miles out then decided to head back. The bike almost stalled on take off (carbs need a good cleaning) but I recovered and eventually made it up to 5th, cruising around 65mph with plenty of throttle left. It gave me a good idea of how my bike is going to feel. The high pipes didn't seem to effect the ride, so I'm pondering keeping mine. More on the 450 later.

Once the rain blew over, we got out the AK and 9mm carbine. Everyone took some shots with the AK, even RQ. She had quite the day of firts! First time riding, first time shooting a rifle. We cranked out enough rounds to make the foregrip start smoking. The title of this post is a bit of lie, no shotguns were fired but there were shells on the ground. We're definitly looking forward to heading up there again sometime soon.

We browsed his massive bike collection and drooled over it all. He has a ton of dirt bikes, a 72 Norton, BSA, 2x RD400s, a Kawasaki Triple, 2x Dreams and a lot of newer bikes. Even a couple of road racers, flat track bikes and a trials bike. Motorcycle heaven....

The brief ride on the 360 made me itch to hit the shop and get wrenching. But time is still slim and tough to juggle. I still have to get air filters, fine tune the timing and check the carb set up. Mike and I talked about having a wrenching party some day and see if we can get the Frankencycle finally running. I want the K&N filters but I'm going to settle for Uni's because I can afford them. I also told him to keep an eye out for something for RQ. She wants a bike and I'd love to surprise her with one for Christmas but we'll see. He also has a Yamaha SRX that's just sitting. I had to mention that if he wants to part with it to let me know. It's stripped down for racing but it wouldn't take much to get it road worthy. I have Surly to thank for planting the seed of interest in the SRX. Next time I'm there, I'll be sure to see if I can take it for a spin.

Atleast I got to ride on the street once this year on something close to my bike. But it only made the sickness worse...



I've had a big interest in FlatTrack for the last year or two. Finally I got to check out a local race and it was a blast!

On Saturday, we went to Indianapolis National Speedway to watch the races. It was amazing, I had never seen Speedway bikes before. I didn't even know Jawa was still in business! My Mom's friend Mike happens to be a 500cc class racer. He finished 3rd in the heat and 4th in the final. Not too bad. For $10 we watched 4 hours of racing. Everything from tiny 50cc quads to the incredibly agile and fast speedway bikes. Just pure throttle, balance and nerves of steel. If anyone is within driving distance and wants to check them out let me know. I think we're going back on Sept 16th.

This Sunday, we're heading to Mike's house to ride the wooded trails and hopefully his small flat track. It will be my fiance's first time on a bike but I think she'll pick it up pretty quick. I'm itching to get on his track back and see if I can work up the nerve to throw the lean. Probably not but it will still be fun.

Now if I could only find people to bring back Board Track using spookytooth cycles!


frame to bench, bench to frame

My buddy and I got the cam timing set and the engine installed on Sunday. We have the dyna timed but I didn't make any "micro" adjustments to it though. We'll be diving further into that this weekend if I get a chance to do some wrenching. Maybe even get the tank, carbs and all put back on. If we're lucky, perhaps a test start!

I need to ditch my stock pipes and get a 2 into 1. That should cut atleast 25lbs off my bike. Every little bit will help. I know I lost a couple of pounds when I swapped the rear suspension. But I gained about 5 with the epoxy coating in the tank, it's pretty thick up front! Not really sure what else I can do to cut down on weight. I want to keep my fenders but maybe trim them up a bit. The seat needs to be chopped down to a more sleek shape. I'd like to add a Lucas style taillight as well. Maybe some smaller signals as too.

Saturday night is another flat-trak race. We might check it out. My Mom has been hanging out with one of the racers. He's pretty cool and has a ton of bikes. I've always loved flat-track but not as much as board track. Too bad we can't gather a ton of people with SpookyTooth bikes and make our own board track racing! Anywho...

In 4wheel news, a freeze plug on my truck began leaking Friday night. I limped it back home (only about 1 mile away from home) and called my roadside assistance. The truck got towed to the dealership on Sunday and I was without wheels. Now, if I had my bike, this wouldn't be a concern. So, $260 later, I have my truck back. I know the mechanic at the dealership, so I know he didn't screw me on labor. I found horror stories online of people paying much more than $260 to fix a plug.


ever changing mind...

After a few serious buyers contacted me, I backed out on selling my bike. It's tough not to get discouraged when I've been building the bike for a long time and it's faught me every step of the way. The guys at UTMC were the main factor in reinforcing my decision not to sell. Plus, I added up all the money I've put into it and I couldn't justify selling it without riding it.

Last weekend, we fixed the oil leak, rejetted the carbs and then began work on the slide issue. After checking the cable, idle screw and other bits, we determinded it was a cable length issue. So, instead of dropping my hard earned cash on another, I trimmed back the flex housing about 1/4". Now they're all the way down with the throttle closed. I still need air filters but I'm short on cash for a while. After we fixed the carbs and began test starting, I noticed the right plug is black while the left is nice and clean. Definitly a timing issue. I pulled the plug and fired it again to check for spark and it was good. But when I hit the kill switch, it kept turning over! I almost crapped myself. We pulled the battery and began checking for a short but everything looked good. So I pulled the starter selonoid and replaced it with my spare. Problem solved and now onto the next issue.

If I make it to the shop this weekend, we're going to tackle the timing. I'm pretty sure it's off, so time to open those valve covers again. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to mess with the cam chain again but I should have double checked it before I installed the engine. I've also decided to ditch the stock scrambler pipes. They're bent and sit off the engine too far. That throws the balance off to the point of being almost too unstable to ride. I thought about cutting the headers off and fabing a mount for them. But I could get a few pennies for those pipes and put them towards a nice 2 into 1.

My dreams of future projects are starting to get specific. Next year, the RedQueen and I will be getting a house if all goes well. She understands my need for a nice garage to fill with more tools and project bikes. I want to learn how to weld and maybe even start fabbing parts. I want my next project to be either a RD400 or perhaps a GT380. I dig the RD but I know they're not cheap or easy to find.

Enough dreaming for now.. gotta play with the pup. She's 26 pounds now and only 13 weeks old.


Urge to sell rising....

Saturday did not go well at the shop. The first item on my to do list was to get the slides to close more than 3/4 throttle. So, I pulled the idle scews and saw minimal change. I started to adjust the cables on the topside of the carbs. The left side dropped a bit but the right adjuster broke. That really started the day off on a craptastic note. The adjuster is brass and I was being careful to not use too much force but still *snap*. A new one is en route from Pro-Flo. I pulled the carbs, sprayed them out and drained the tank.

After rinsing the gas out of my mouth I sat back and looked at my bike. Then, like always the thought popped in my head. *sell it* But this time it truly sounded like a good idea. I've put a lot of money and time into this bike and I don't have to time to work on it like I used to. Granted that will change but not before this season is over. So that will be 2 missed seasons.

I'm not looking at the CL450 as a failure, it's just getting to the point where it might be smarter to walk away. Funkz and I built a running engine and assembled a bike out of boxes of parts. I'm pretty proud of that (even though it ran kinda crappy due to the carbs).

So, I posted the bike for sale on a few boards and had some hits. But the devils on my shoulders are playing the "sell it, no keep it" game. Say I get the Mikuni's running, what will be next?

Should I just let this one go and be proud of what I built? Is it smarter to just get a set of stock CV carbs and sell off the Mikuni's? They would pay for the new carbs and part of a set of tires. But I won't be able to work more than a few hours every other Sunday or Saturday. I hate making these kinds of decisions. For now the ads stay online.


shop time

Tomorrow I'll be hitting the shop after a long break. I've only found 2 sources for 57mm air filters: Uni and K&N. Reliable sources say the Uni filters are junk, so I'm pinching pennies for the K&Ns. Hopefully I can get the scoot going tomorrow after I crank down the idle and tinker with the Mikunis. My tuning manual is still on back order. If I can't get it running, then I'll have to drain the gas and wait for my filters.



taking a couple of steps back....

The bike is currently on the back burner for a bit due to this little monster keeping us busy:

Things are going fairly well with the pup but she can be a handful! I'm hoping to get some of the carb work done in the near future. My shop time is limited to weekends for a bit. Once the pup can relax and isn't wound up like a spring, she can go to the shop with me. My Saturdays will soon be taken over for 2 hours for Puppy Kindergarten, it will be nice to take her for a sane walk everytime! Needless to say I'm pretty beat. A full nights sleep is a thing of the past...

No real bike news beside my friend bought some giant Honda Cruiser. I think it's a VTX but I'm not positive. It's huge, heavy and black. So it's not all bad (except for the chrome). The RedQueen and I have decided to eventually get a Ural Gear-Up but it won't be for quite a while. She really wants a bike but for now that's on the back burner. Plus, we're trying to save up towards a house down payment.

Fear not all 2 people who read my blog, I haven't given up on the caferat. Just took a step back for a bit. Which is probably a good thing because, to be honest, I was getting a bit frustrated!


you shot who in the what now?

So yeah... hey how are ya?

We got the Mikunis installed along with all their necessary hardware. Unfortunatly my air filters don't fit. I found some K&Ns but I can't afford them yet. I've also been given numerous recommendations about the jetting for the VM32s. But for now, I'm gonna stick with stock and see how it will run. The throttle assembly that came with the carbs is crazy. Only after I installed it did I notice it's a 1/4 throttle. Plus, running those cables into the slides is a real pain in the ass!

The bike work will be delayed for a bit, we get the pup this Friday. Here's a pic of the RedQueen and Ruby (it's kinda blurry):

In an effort to fix my credt, obtain a new vehicle and throw away a chunk of my monthly income, I signed the paperwork for my truck a week ago today. I took home a 98 Ford Explorer Sport 2Door. That's right, a Ford Explorer (without the anti-tank firestone tires). It's from Canada but the gauges are in US measurements. I dig it. The payments are a little more than I wanted but no one would finance me. So, in order to clean up my financial history, I'm letting the bank have it's way with me for 36 months.


moto news (2 and 4 wheel)

Last night we began puppy proofing the apartment. We pick up our German Shepherd pup on June 17th. She's a German/Czech bloodline, full working/protection dogs. I never had a dog when I was a kid, so needless to say I'm pretty stoked! We plan on training her in Schutzhund and maybe Search & Rescue. It's going to be a lot of hard work but well worth it. Be warned, in the future my blog will be mixed with dog info and bikes. On to the moto news....

I ordered my Mikunis last night from Pro-Flo, along with some new jets, needle and a tuning manual. They should be here by Saturday. I have a new front brake cable and fuel filters to install as well. Thanks to Surly for the tips on checking my tach cable. Soon my bike will be sporting a set of these:

The decision to go back to a larger vehicle (despite gas prices) has been settled. I'm searching for either an older Cherokee, Pathfinder or something similar. I found a 95 Pathfinder today for a good price. Now, I have to convince the bank to give me money for it. Hopefully my credit has improved enough to do so. I'm not anti-SUV as long as they're a reasonable size. Plus, unlike most people, I actually use the 4x4 besides winter. I've had 3 Jeeps, a Samurai and a Pathfinder in the past. All were good trail rigs and fun year round. I'll need to extra space for the pup, once she's grown. We'll be carting her around for training and competitions. Plus it's always good to have a 4x4 incase the Zombie Apocalypse comes.

I'll try to get some pics of the work this weekend and maybe a movie if we get the bike to fire up with the new carbs.


Powered (indirectly) by Team Hansen

After much consideration over the leaking carb issue, I've decided to replace the stock Keihin CV carbs with Mikuni Slides. Sure, I could find a set of CVs, rebuild them and hope they work. But I'd rather upgrade when I replace. Team Hansen hooked me up with their dealer contact. I'm getting 2x 32mm Mikunis with the throttle kit for $230. Not too shabby! I also have a replacement front brake cable and 2 inline fuel filters coming. With any luck, I'll be able to get everything but the carbs installed early next week. Might as well bump up the shipping for the Mikunis and get them before the weekend. I have to get my bike finished up before we get the puppy. Then I have to find a nice balance between riding and working with the pup.

There are other things I need to fix. The tach isn't work but I'm not sure if it's the cable or gauge itself. I have a spare gauge, so I'm hoping that's the problem. I'm still shopping for tires but I gotta save up the cash for those. The present set will be enough to cruise the storage center and Post Office parking lot until I get my skills up to par. Next year, I'd like to take one of the ABATE courses. The training always helps, it discounts your insurance and once you complete the class, you get your endorsment. Too bad you can't bring your own bike.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend.
Keep the rubber side down!


holy crap!

I hit the shop at 8:30 this morning, after a pit stop for breakfast.  The clutch cable took no time, in the process I noticed it could double as a front brake cable!  After the clutch was adjusted to my satisifaction, I started on the tank.  

Apparently, my only choice for a true gas resistant paint is professional quality paint with a clear coat.  The epoxy paint looked better but still didn't take to gas very well.  But it's better than nothing.  

With fresh gas in the tank and everything prepped, I wheeled the 450 out and hit the button.... 

Turns out we had the timing 180 off, how I have no clue.  So, I said screw Dyna's directions and did it on my own.  I had to modify the backing plate as much as I could.  Then had to grind off a corner and edge on botht the lash washer and nut.  But it works and seems to be spot on.  (yeah, I've said that before)

With the dyna adjusted, I tried another test start.  She started up but would only run with the choke and heavy throttle.  So, I tinkered with the fuel screw and it evened out.  Then I noticed the left carb was leaking just like it did before I rebuilt it.  It's still bubbling out of the top cover and around the rod that controls the choke.  So I pulled the carb, adjusted the float and made sure it was nice and clean.  No change.  Then I noticed it was spitting fuel out of the filter.  The right carb is fine but the plug got black prett quick.  So it's running rich, probaby compensating for the shitty left carb.  Since I rebuilt them not too long ago, I'm clueless.  I checked the surfaces and the gaskets, everything looked fine.    

damn you left carb! 

(I did get to ride about 2 feet though!)



With the new clutch bits installed, still no working clutch. I pulled the pack and oiled it up and checked the assembly. Everything looks good. After we struggled with the adjustment and finally got the clutch to release, it wouldn't return. So now we think we're dealing with a stretched cable (it's 30 years old). A new one should arrive in a couple of days.

Sunday, the RedQueen has a babyshower to attend. While she's off showering babies, I'll hopefully be either prepping the bike for test starts or enjoying test rides. Oh, but before all the shower on Sunday.... Southern Culture on the Skids will be here Saturday night! Finally, after missing 2 or 3 shows in a row, I'll get to see SCOTS.

I was informed that this is the guys and gals shower, so I'll be hanging with FatChan and all the others on Sunday.
**end edit**

must smoke....


CRC2 to the rescue!

I called Cycle Recycle asking about a replacement drive cover. I guess they got distracted due to some customer being a dick. I sat on the phone for almost 30min but it's no big deal. It was fun listening to Rick tell some douchebag customer to kiss his ass. Man, I love that store.

Anywho, they have the part I need and it will be in the mail soon. I'm thinking about seeing if that clutch mechanism can be modified to give a bit more clearance. I also found some epoxy based appliance spray paint. I have to work on a buddy's KLR next week, just basic stuff. But it's extra $ to go towards CL. I think painting the tank and getting the clutch straightened out are the last things I need to do. Then it will be time for more testing....




I pulled the left peg last night and removed the front sprocket cover only to find this:

Ooops! I guess something was adjusted way out of whack. Unfortunatly, I pitched my spare covers a few weeks ago. So now I have to find a replacement. Anyone have a spare? I've got plenty of parts to trade. On a happier note, the tank turned out great but now I need to repaint it. The paint didn't hold up to the small amount of gas that was spilled on the tank. I don't know much about paint, so I need to research what paint I can use. I prefer my paint out of a rattle can, no need for fancy paint jobs.

I must own this:

It's the VW GX3 concept car. If they decide to produce it, the price tag is pretty low for a VW, $17,000. Too bad they didn't incorporate a removable top of some sorts. That way you could drive all year. Still, I want the damn thing!


i'm watching you....

I added "Site Meter" to my blog and it's interesting to see how people find their way to my blog. Today a person from the DOT was on my site looking for info on gummed up clutches. Pretty cool.

In other news,

We hit the shop last night and got some serious work done. I dismantled both carbs, cleaned them out and scraped off the old gaskets. Two cans of carb cleaner later, I had freshly rebuilt carbs! Then we mixed up the epoxy goop to seal my gas tank. I never thought silly putty would be part of my tool box. We used it to plug the outlets and seal up the leaking seam. Hopefully there's a nice thick layer of epoxy hardening inside my tank right now.

I'm still shopping around the net for tires. I've found two different bridgestone tires that I'm interested in. I really wanted those Avon Distanzias but they don't make them in the size I need. A local shop suggested I go with the Bridgestone TW series but they seem to be a little to offroad. I'd like to be able to ride in the rain but I don't know if I could trust such a knobby tire. The other set I'm pondering are the S11 Spitfires. They have a nice vintage look but aren't DS tires. I don't plan on doing much trail riding but I'd like to keep the scrambler look.

Tonight we're putting Funkz new cross-drilled rotors on and prepping my bike for the clutch work on Saturday. Hopefully it's just a matter of adjustment.




fried chicken and gasoline

I ordered my carb rebuild kits and some tank epoxy from Caswell. Funkz used it on his 750 and the tank is perfect inside. It's a 2part mixture that leaves a tough as nails epoxy coating, bonding all the rust and jizz to the inside of the tank. My tank is pretty clean inside but it does have a leak along the front right seam.

Hopefully we'll have the tank done and carbs rebuilt before Saturday. Maybe we can get a successful start! I can rebuild the carbs at home but I'll have to hit the shop sometime this week to get the clutch issue taken care of. I'm gonna pull both side covers, lube the plates and check all the guts and springs on the left side. But those plates were put in with a thin coating of oil but that was months ago. Why did I put a thin coat when I know it's a wet clutch? Who knows. I think it's just a matter of adjustment or lack there of. The rear brake also needs to be tighter. The front brake cable is way too long but I can deal with it for now.

I'll worry about rinky-dink things like that later. For now it's getting the monster to fire up, idle and make those lovely engine noises. Then it's off to get some new rubber. Still interested in those Distanzas but they might not come in the correct size.


so close!

We got the Dyna installed yesterday, aired up the tires and added some gas. The carbs were leaking pretty bad but we tried to fire it up anyway. The starter chain is skipping but atleast it's not the cam chain! We realized the timing wasn't quite right on the Dyna, so we broke out the test light and got everything set spot on. I cleaned the carbs and let the gaskets sit in PB Blaster for about 30 min. It helped a bit but didn't solve all the leaks.

After we reassembled everything and had the timing squared away, we tried to test start it again. It was trying hard to start but the leaking carbs were hindering the effort. I also noticed the clutch isn't disengaging when the lever is pulled in. Most likely the cable is stretched.

Next week I'll be ordering 2 carb kits, epoxy sealent for the gas tank and maybe a few cables. I knocked the tank against the work bench last week and it caused a leak on the seam. Ooops. But all in all, it was a good day and atleast the bike tried to start.

Here's a few pics of it fully assembled:



We got quite a bit finished up tonight: 

- engine installed
- ignition switch wired
- clutch adjusted
- dyna adjusted (still needs to be wired)
- chain installed
- kick starter and shifter levers installed
- misc other odds and ends

Hopefully tomorrow we'll have the carbs installed, chain tension set and maybe the wiring double checked.  We're doing our best to try to get it ready to test start this weekend.  I still need to buy a battery.  

We installed the engine w/o putting the ground strap on the starter.  We're just going to run it along a different path.  

enough bike ranting for tonight...I'm exhausted.

heat 'em up!

Thank you Mr Exhaust Benderman for fixing my vintage scrambler pipes! Chrome damage was unavoidable but you know how I feel about chrome. Now I just have more of an incentive to buy that header wrap. It cost me $30 to have the pipes bent back, not a bad deal. Another service slip to add to the Frankencycle File. I have all the reciepts from all the parts and work that have been done to the bike. Not that it matters, I don't plan on selling it.

Last night, I told Funkz that if the CL croaks or self detonates when we get it running, I'll be pissed but I've learned alot. If that did happen, I'll just have to find another bike. (Daydreams about the Triumph Scrambler)

The CL has fought me during every step of the rebuild. But I'm detereminded to ressurect it from the dead. In some ways, it's a zombie bike.

Join my daydream:

holy crap!

The engine is now fully reassembled! It took quite a bit of work to make that chain tool work on my bike but now it's good to go. We set the intake and exhaust cam timing but the intake is about 1mm ahead, there seems to be no way to set them both and have the cam chain match up. The valves are adjusted and the freshly painted covers have been installed.

Tonight, I'll be repositioning the Dyna and getting that prepped. We're going to try to finish everything we can on the bike before we install the engine. Assuming I can get my pipes fixed (still off by about 1" because they got dropped), we might be able to do a test start this weekend! If we get it running, I get to learn how to time the Dyna.

Most of the remaining work is pretty basic, chain tension, double check wiring, adjustments here and there and other misc tweaking. I definitly need to get new tires but those will have to wait. The old ones will do for test rides around the storage facility. I'm still thinking about a set of DS tires that are more street than dirt but we'll see what I can afford. If the pipes can't be bent, I'll have to drop the cash for a new set of pipes. Which, I don't want to do for a number of reasons. I like the old school scrambler pipes and I don't have the cash!

more updates to come....


blast off to Jesus!

Last night, I dug out an old camshaft and grabbed the hack saw. It took me a bit but I finally cut the points side off of the shaft after about 20 min of sawing. Then the hunt began for all the bits needed to make a mock Dyna install. I found a spare points housing, spark arrester and lash bolt/nut. It's actually pretty cool. A portable version of my ignition. I'll try to get a pic of it tonight.

A guy on caferacer.net said he just shimmed out the cover 1/4". But I'd like to keep that cover sealed up. I know the Dyna isn't near as sensitive as points but if I can minimize the amount of gunk in there, all the better. Now I'm waiting on my cam chain tool so we can button up the engine. While I have the time, I think I'm gonna paint my engine mounts as well. I painted the stator cover and valve covers. They look pretty cool, it's a low gloss black. Even though it's gonna be nice on Sat, there isn't much I can do at the shop. So I'll hit CRC2, blab with Rob for a bit and then spend the rest of the day with RedQueen.

time for breakfast....


success!  (kinda)

well, i got them to install properly (normal direction, not flipped 180). but i can't get the point mount screws to clear the dyna. can't really grind the pick-ups. plus, in the process of pushing the wiring through, i smoked the rotten rubber seal that was around the factory wires. 

in theory, no oil or fluids should be in that cover, so i'm guessing that seal was just to keep gunk and liquids out of the points assembly. i'll have to figure out a way to plug it.

the worst part is this, the cover won't fit with the dyna installed! so it's back to the parts shop with my spare spark advancer and whole points assembly including the dyna in a mock set up. hopefully they can find something to use or else i'm clueless. 

if that all goes through, it's on to the wiring and finishing the engine!




We got a little bit done in the shop last night. The new blinker was installed, front hub has been straightened, brake adjusted and even did some painting. I used the high temp engine paint on the stator cover and valve covers. It looks pretty cool. We took a long smoke break at work this morning and went to the hardware store. I got washers for the ignition switch and a few for the dyna.

Speaking of the dyna, I'm still trying to get a hold of CRC2. When I ordered the dyna, they rattled off the mods needed to install it. But I didn't get a chance to have them clarify. So, I'm sitting here mashing the redial button over and over again. I'd like to get it installed tonight and maybe do a little work on the wiring as well. Not sure what else I can do. I still need that damn masterlink, but it's a press fit style. Rumor has it I'll have to get another chain tool to press the plate on. But I can't seem to find one that is made for cam chains, not drive chains.



the challenge continues

Funkz and I actually managed to get our asses to the shop by about 9:15am on Sat. He finally got his oil filter bolt cut out and the cup pulled. So, we headed down to CRC2 to get his parts. I grabbed a Haynes manual for my bike since my other one was stolen by gremlins. By the time we got back to the apartment, the RedQueen had just got home from work. She has a buggered tooth and it's giving her some wicked headaches. All 3 of us got some lunch and waited for the mailman to arrive. Finally, the USPS blessed me with my package from CRC2. The contents: 1 Dyna Ignition but no cam chain master link!

Since RQ wasn't feeling well, I skipped the afternoon at the shop and hungout with her. Before bed that night, I had one of those "holy shit!" moments. I remembered I have a spare cam chain someplace in the shop. I'll be hitting the shop after work all week. It's going to be in the high 60s and the 70s on the weekend. The weather is beautiful, my bike is still in pieces, I've got my gear and my permit. It's driving me nuts...



Last night Funkz and I pulled the head and I removed the intake cam and all the hardware. Luckily, I noticed the intake valves weren't seated very well from the rebuild. So, a tap with the rubber hammer solved that. A day of brainstorming gave me the idea to manually rotate the exhaust cam. Using an old cam chain, I rotated the cam while Funkz held down the head. We got it spot on, then installed the intake cam. Both are aligned properly. We'll be hitting the shop again tonight, then a long day on Saturday.

The whole gummed up crankcase and difficulty setting the alignment is actually a blessing in disguise. If it wasn't for that, I never would have noticed those valves weren't seated. Imagine the damage!

Hopefully my Dyna ingition will be here soon and I really need that master link. I'm thinking about dropping the cash for the Dyna coils. Might as well upgrade it all while I'm at it! Anyone have experience with those? I've also heard that certain car coils will work but I haven't found any hard evidence.


the battle against valve springs

I went to the shop last night in hopes of getting something done before Sat. The brakes are now assembled and the tires are back on the bike. I also got the headlight bucket installed. So, I decided to try to time the cams myself. The intake cam is spot on but the exhaust cam isn't even close! Somehow, I have to compress the valve spring inorder to get the cam and bearing marks lined up. I've tried lowering the lash adjusters but it still doesn't give enough room.

Needless to say, I'm not scared of pulling the head apart anymore. I had the cams out and the rocker arms. So, I guess I learned something out of all the frustration. It's time to call Rob at CRC2 and order my electronic ignition. No more points for me. Plus, I bought a cam chain from them but it didn't come with a master link. Since he's the walking encyclopedia of bike knowledge, he might have some insight into my valve issue.

Funks and I will be hitting the shop again tonight, for about 2 hours. Maybe even Friday night as well. If I want my bike running ASAP, I'm gonna have to get off my lazy ass and put in the time besides Saturdays. Winter is gone and the weather is getting nice. No more half-assing. I also finally hit the BMV and got my permit.

back to work.....


one of those days....

Saturday we hit the shop around noon. The RedQueen and I cleaned up the shop a bit until Funkz got there. Then we started assembling the engine, setting ring gaps and etc. Then the cam chain gave us trouble. At first had a kink some place which made us lose a link. Then we pulled it and ran it again. But it wouldn't catch on the crank. Finally after fighting the damn thing for about 40 min, we took a break. Pushed out stripper bike (the EX500) and pushed each other around for a bit. Got her up into 3rd and she turned over pretty smooth. We're still trying to figure out what to do with it.

After playing around and ingesting some tasty pizza, it was back to work. We finally got the damn chain installed. Then I couldn't find the section in my manual for presetting the cams after a rebuild. So, we did it by setting the left piston to TDC and the rest was just pure brain power. After we got it set, the rocker arm gapped and the covers installed, Funkz found the section of the manual we needed. By that time, it was getting late and we were all tired and frustrated.

This weekend, we're starting at 9 am. We will have the engine installed and set. But we need to reassemble the brakes and put the wheels back on. Then we'll get the new headlight bucket installed and double check the wiring connections. We plan on putting in a long day, maybe squeeze in a few hours during the week if possible.

I redid my finances today and figured out that I'll have money for Vintage Days if I jumble around some bills. Hopefully we'll have enough to get RQ a bike. I imagine they'll be a few at the swap meet.

yeah...back to work.


(I hope to get some pics taken next week so you can see the progress)


news from BnC

They called Saturday morning and said the crankcase was ready and the tool was complete.  No more smashing my fingers trying to take the locknut off of the sludge trap.  Now I have a real custom locknut socket, something Honda apparetnly never released to the public.  

I won't make be able to pick it up until later this week.  Hopefully I'll get some shop time this weekend and we we can start putting the engine back together.  Then, the all the tuning and settings must be adjusted.  Thankfully, my Honda Manual gives a nice simple step by step walk through for it.  

If it's nice enough and I have enough time, I might even finish up those drums that we started last week.  There isn't much left to do once the engine is in and prepped.  I want to break the carbs down again and clean them out a second time.  Still not sure if I have to sync them or not.  Probably should while I'm going through everything else.  

I do need to take my pipes into a muffler shop, along with one of my spare heads, so they can bend them back to the proper angle.  I'd rather keep my scrambler pipes than drop the $250 for a 2 into 1 pipe.  Still need to get that thermo-wrap and silicon sealer.  

Last Friday, I went through my budget and I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to Vintage Days.  I'm hoping I can pull OT to get extra cash to fund the trip.  



electric hum

It's freezing in the Dungeon, I mean phone room. I'm sure all there's tons of radiation bombarding my body right now but it's just not enough to keep warm.

Still no word from BnC but I'm calling them right now. *suspense builds* The crankcase is done a guide pin had slide out of place. Now they're waiting on a guy to make the magic tool to remove the sludge trap.



wacky weekend

Saturday, we hit the shop and it was beautiful outside! While Funkz pulled his battery box and other bits to drop in his electrolysis thinga-ma-bob, RQ and I pulled my rims. I cleaned up the first one by hand but then realized that I have the magic of power tools! So, I used a soft polishing wheel and let the RedQueen do the front drum. It looks much better than the one I did! Still need to clean them up some more but I ran out of brake cleaner. You can never have too much! After that we ran some errands and had a movie night.

Sunday, we had planned to go bet a new computer desk and a shelf for the ratties. But instead, we spent the day hanging out at Rusted Moon (a backpacking shop that my Mom works for) with Max. Max is the coolest dog on the planet. Unfortunatly, since we live in an apartment, we can't keep him. If we could, then he the RQ and I would have the bestest dog in the world. Yes, I said bestest, get over it. But, tonight we're taking him to a German Shepherd Rescue south of Indianapolis. He has no tags, no chip and doesn't want to go back to wherever he came from. We named him Max because he seems to like it. I'd go into more detail but I'll spare you.

Good Luck Max VonSchutzhund, you'll find a good family!

sleepy max


the new shift...

I started my new shift on Weds, 3pm-11pm. At first I was kinda excited about it, the prospect of getting up early and maybe hitting the shop. But the truth of the matter is that I don't like getting up early. Plus, with the RedQueen working 12pm-8pm, we don't get to see each other much except for in the morning. So, I don't want to give up that time to work on my bike. I still have weekends to wrench and there isn't much I can do on my bike right now. I also realized that I've been letting my crappy job get to me and piss on my personal life and attitude. So I'm doing my best to have a better outlook towards my job. I sent off a request for the Machinist program at Ivy Tech. But I won't be able to start school until next year. So, in the mean time, I need to learn to deal with my job and be a good little grunt.

In happier news, I ordered the armor for my jacket. Well, it's actually CE armor from Joe Rocket (4 pieces of elbow armor). It seems to be a bit more protective than the armor that FirstGear recommends. I went with all elbow armor because the shoulder pockets on my jacket are huge and should accept them w/o trimming.

We're trying to start making plans for AMA Vintage Days in Ohio. Trying to figure out if we can borrow my grandpa's truck to use as a chase vehicle. That way, if one our bikes craps out or we find a nice scoot for RQ, then we're set. I need to hit the BMV next week and take my permit test. I'm thinking about signing up for an ABATE class in July. It would be nice to just take the class and have my license w/o all the testing crap at the BMV. Plus, I've heard good things about it from friends and other riders. I know I could use the "formal" education as well. Speaking of education, I'm trying to get in the habit of studying before work and I've actually been pretty successful. Right now, I'm just trying to catch up and refresh things that I've already covered. I need to get this class finished up before the end of the year. Plus, I get more tools once I finish it and that's always good! Granted I have most of what they're going to send me but it never hurts to have spare tools. Plus, I can always sell them.

30 minutes until I leave for work...... it's weird being there without the bosses. I do my fair share of slacking throughout the day but when no one is there to supervise me, it takes the fun out of slacking. So, in turn, I end up getting more work done at night. I'm hoping I won't be on this nightshift crap for more than a few weeks, instead of 4+ like I thought at first. But we'll see.

.........tick tock.....tick tock..........


fun with wiring!

The wiring harness is hooked up, just waiting on a headlight bucket. BnC hasn't had a chance to work on my crankcase but they might get to it Monday. Spring is almost here and I still have plenty to do on my bike. I'm not moving along as fast as I had hoped. I still need to get armor for my jacket and some armored pants. Once the engine is reassembled here's roughly what I have left:

- clean out drum brakes (check shoes)
- new exhaust
- complete nut and bolt check for torque settings
- tune / time engine
- mount ignition switch (need 2 big ass washers)
- adjust brakes and clutch
- sync carbs and install new fuel line
- take one link out of the chain for more adjustment room

That should be about it. It's not really all that much to do. I just need to have a couple of long days at the shop and knock it out. I don't want to jinx myself and say it's gonna be done by a certain date. With all the odd ball problems I've run into, I have to take in account of whatever gremlins show up.




I got both of my helmets last night! The Caberg is pretty damn sweet. The XS is a little tight but I wore it for about 20-30min and it wasn't bad. Plus, I think it's gonna break in nicely. If not, I'll just let RedQueen use it and order a Small. The THH helmet is pretty nice too, little wide in the cheeks, not meant for people with narrow faces.

Pretty snazzy! Too bad my damn bike is back in pieces. No word from BnC about the crankcase. So, I think I'm gonna hit the wiring this weekend and clean up my brake drums.



3 steps forward, 2 steps back....

Today, we pulled the engine and isolated the kickstarter problem to the crankcase. We loaded it into the Vdub and took it back to BnC. They'll let me know what happened and the repair/check is free. Plus, they're gonna try to make a 16mm locknut socket for my sludgetrap.
Other than that not much got accomplished on the CL besides grinding and removing a link from the new cam chain. Man, that vise makes life so much easier. If BnC is done by next weekend, we'll be reassembling the engine and starting the fine tuning. If they aren't, then we're gonna load up Stripper Bike and take it down to Cycle Recycle 2 and trade it for credit or cash. I'd be cool with getting a head light bucket, new pipes and maybe some tires and other bits out of it. But we'll see what Rob has to say.
My temporary helmet should be here next week sometime. Still no word on the arrival date for my Caberg. I tried on a small HJC today and it was big on me. So, maybe the XS in the Caberg will fit me fine. If not, I'll let the RedQueen use it and I'll just get another one. Have I mentioned that I hate the UK's Parcel Post? Oh, my Mom will be bringing me back a copy of StreetFighter Magazine from London. Finally get to peek into an issue, can't find it around the Midwest.

that's enough for tonight......



calling Belfast....

I just got off the phone with the bike shop in Belfast. My helmet went out yesterday, flat black, XS. I swear I ordered a small but I guess not. If it feels too tight, I'll just put it on ebay and order another one. It was shipped Parcel Post which means it could be here anywhere from 1-8 weeks from now. I plan on ordering a cheaper DOT helmet to use for the first few months of riding. I'd hate to take a little spill and ruin my fancy pants European helmet. But I have other things to worry about instead of helmets. Saturday we're pulling the side cover and if need be, we'll tear the engine down again....


the curse continues....

Saturday we hit the shop early and actually had power! I successfully cut the new drive chain (thanks to our new vise and punch set). Both new sprockets have been installed, same with the new coils and condensor. The day was going fairly well until I tried to kick over the engine to get some oil moving around. That's the moment the curse hit.

The kickstarter moved back without resistance for about 4 inches, then came to a solid stop. Nothing moved inside the engine. I know the pistons aren't stuck, the cam chain is good and all the gears in the crankcase should be fine. It was checked by BnC Machine Shop about a month ago. So, I believe the problem lies in the kickstarter gears. I don't have much experience with the mysterious workings inside the crankcase.

Needless to say, I'm hitting the shop next Saturday extra early and I'm not gonna leave until I have it solved or my brain locks up in frustration. First, off comes the right cover so I can make sure the crankshaft is turning. Then it's on to the rest of the possibilities. I also found out that when my exhaust was knocked over at a friend's garage, it bent the pipes so now they won't fit into the exhaust ports. Plus, I misplaced my exhaust mounts. It's the curse, or just the fact that my bike is so mishmashed that I'm going to continue to run into these issues.

In happier news, I have a engine cover bolt set coming and maybe even a headlight bucket. Still waiting for that auction to end. Maybe my helmet will be here this week. Gotta get to work on the database of hell, I mean fun.



hooray for USPS!

I got my jacket today and it's kick ass. The leather is a lot softer than I expected and fairly light compared to the jacket I wear to work everyday. Not sure if I'll ever use the cargo pockets but they're good to have. Now, I need to order the armor (both sets) and eventually find those armored pants. As soon as I get the new UTMC patch, I'm gonna send the new skin saver off to the taylor to sew the patches on. There's one more memorial patch that needs to be added but I think it's still in the design phase. Hopefully that will get finished up soon. I also dropped off all the shop info and cash for my helmet at my Mom's place.

The RedQueen and I are gonna have dinner with my Ma after shop time on Saturday. Sunday was going to be the bike expo but I think I'm gonna skip it. I looked over the site and didn't see much that interested me. Now, the Ohio AMA Vintage Days, that's gonna be kick ass. I hope I have enough saddle time by July to make the 4 hour trek to Lexington. So, Sunday will be spent cleaning and maybe shopping for rats. The RQ and I used to have pet rats years ago and we've been wanting a pet. I'm hoping to find an all black one but it's unlikely. Pet rat and a rat bike.. hhehehe.

I'm freaking exhausted from work. How can sitting infront of a computer all day make me so fucking tired? Oh wait, it's because I never truly wake up, regardless of how much caffiene I ingest. Plus, I get like this during the winter but it's almost gone! Speaking of tired... I'm off to bed.



The lady that gave birth to me can't bring my helmet back from the UK. So, I found a place with less expensive shipping and ordered it today. Hopefully it will be here by the end of next week. But we'll see, things crossing the Atlantic don't get here so quick.


brain catchers

I've been spending more time thinking about helmets, their quality and the certification processes. After much debate, I'm going with an ECE compliant helmet. Which means a couple of things. I'll be paying more for a helmet, parts will be more expensive and hopefully, it will be a safer lid. I searched and searched for a cool and unique helmet with good features and a moderate price. I didn't want to just buy a European version of an American helmet. I want something that is more, well, me. After a few hours of searching the net, I found a couple of helmet shops in the UK. Then, I saw it in all of it's stunning flat black beauty. Behold the Caberg V2:

It has an inner flip down visor, kinda like a fighter pilot helmet. Pretty damn sweet. I almost ordered it today but then realized that shipping would cost me about $100. That immediatly bummed me out until I realized that my Mom is headed off to the UK on Tuesday for vacation. So, she's gonna take the subway, I mean Underground, and pick one up for me. Good ol' Mom, gotta love her!

This weekend, we should have power back at the shop, or H6 as we started calling. I picked up some misc tools and goodies at the newly opened Harbor Freight store. Saturday, we'll be hitting the wrenches and hopefully getting some serious work done. After that, we might hit the Motorcycle Expo at the Fairgrounds on Sunday. Should be a busy weekend! As always, I'll try to post how it all goes. Time to find out if the sprocket mish-mash that I got from CRC2 will work. Knowing Rob, I bet it will. That guy is a walking library of bike knowledge.



random post

The weather was pretty frosty this weekend. So, the RedQueen and I stayed indoors and watched tons of movies/TV. Since we don't have a real TV, I mean we watched episodes of Bullshit, Dead Like Me and Band of Brothers. Today we saw Final Destination 3, which was worth the $4. It's always worth money to see people get snuffed out in interesting and creative ways. It's late and I'm tired from doing nothing. Next weekend will hopefully pay off with some serioius shop time. Time is ticking by and if I dont' get off my ass and get the rat bike running, it will be spring before I know it. The Funkz and I want to hit this Vintage Show in Ohio, I believe it's in July. I need to get some serious saddle time before I brave my scrawny ass out on the interstate. I've been spending alot of time thinking about gear and the old safety bit. It's made me reconsider helmet choices and even my gloves. Right now, I'm sporting a pair of Icon Super Duty gloves but I'm thinking about dropping them for a pair of gauntlets with better armor. I'm not a gear nazi but the road rash scars on my dad's arms and legs definitly make me think about what I'm gonna ride in. I'm tired and rambling now. If you haven't read it, spend an hour at work and get paid to read up on your helmets. http://motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/hatz/


Here's a pic of the RedQueen sporting her UTMC shirt:


adios $$$

I just said goodbye to the last of my tax return check. I won a new riding leather from eBay. I saved about $100 and it's brand new. The only thing I don't like is the type of armor it accepts is just closed cell foam. But, I'm gonna try to find or make another armor (CE or Knox) fit. If worse comes to worse, I'll just double up on the padding. Anywho, here's a pic of the jacket:

I found a few other jackets I liked but I love the old school look of this jacket. Plus, it's got a certain MadMax/Cyberpunk look to it.

I found a better set of armor from newenough.com that will double up the protection. Also, it's going to be a lovely 16degrees tomorrow, so no shop time. Next weekend, looks good, a little rainy but good. So maybe I'll be able to slap those new parts on and make more progress. Plus, I just
got a message from the seller on ebay. My jacket should go out today. Hopefully I'll be giving a full review by mid next week.

have a good one...


curse of the frankencycle

I hit CRC2 today to pick up some parts and the curse struck me again. My rear sprocket is a 33 tooth, not the standard 34. Plus, the mounting holes are much larger than what they should be and it's a smaller sprocket. So, Rob found something that matches up with a little mish-mashing. I'm not sure if it's going to work but we'll find out this weekend. So, in theory, I have a new front and rear sprocket, new (to me) coils, fuel line and a heavy duty (non o-ring) chain.

I'm hoping the weather this weekend is nice and that the damn outlet is working again at the shop. Kinda hard to use power tools when you don't have power. I can atleast get the sprockets installed and maybe get the wiring cleaned up. So far, things are coming along at a good pace. With any luck I'll get a good chunk of the work done Saturday. I still have misc things to buy like more electrical connectors, cotter pins and other bits. I need to bring my seat home and start cutting it down to a more cafe style seat. Think I'm gonna use the orginal pan and cut out the cheap thick foam. Then replace it with a nice closed cell foam to rest my scrawny ass on.

Since I didn't fiddle with my carbs too much, I'm hoping I won't have to sync them but I'll probably end up doing it anyway. That will be a learning experience. I found an electronic ignition for my bike, gonna set me be back about $190 but it will be worth every penny. Still need to get a helmet, jacket and these kick ass armored pants you wear under jeans. I'm probably just gonna ride in my dirty carharts, they should hold up a little better than jeans, plus the armor underneath.

back to work....

crashes, kids and parts

Accident video from a Rider's point of view. I'd like to think there would be some road justice if that happened to me. But in all reality, I'd be laying there doing the same thing.

It's ye olde Valentines Day. Tonight the RedQueen and I will be heading down town to Mikado for some tasty Japanese food. After that is .... well.... private.

I'm heading to CRC2 to pick up my sprockets and a few other odds and ends today at lunch. I want to get some hotter coils and a few other things but I'm going to wait until Weds. Spring is creeping in slowly. The birds are returning, high school kids are hiding behind my apt building smoking pot. I don't care about them smoking pot, just don't want them hiding in my fucking hallway rolling blunts, then smoking by my kitchen window. I hate the smell of pot. So, I did what any adult would do, I called the non-emergent police line. I was just gonna ask them to go someplace else but they're wanna be gangsters and I don't patience for that bullshit.

Anywho...breakfast time.



Funkz and I hit the shop early on Saturday. It was a nippley 20something degress outside but the shop heaters worked well until the outlet crapped out. We worked until it got super cold, then it was time for lunch. I got the bar end mirrors mounted and also put on that ignition mount/fuse holder. The switch is about 1/2" smaller in diameter than the mount so I need to find a couple of washers to clamp it in to place. We pulled my front and rear sprockets, so I have to hit CRC2 on Tuesday. No luck with removing the chain, no power = no dremel = no chain cutting. I've looked over that chain atleast 3 or 4 times trying to find a master link but I think it's a press on style.

We got the wiring figured out for Funkz gravestone taillight. Looks pretty damn cool. I also got a nice little bag of misc tools from my Grandpa. I should be getting more soon. He gave me his 5" Littletown vise, some old Williams tools and a few other things I need like a punch set. I've decided to go with the Machinist route, probably through IUPUI. Now, I just need to start talking with enrollment staff about night school and the such.

I spent a good chunk of my tax return on furniture and other misc things for the new apartment. I'll post some pics once it's all set up. There's still enough $ leftover for bike parts and maybe a new leather or helmet. I'm trying to find a good leather that has Knox CE armor but won't cost me a crap load. I think I'm going with the Fieldsheer Duece II. It's a pretty plain old school jacket and has pockets for armor. I'm looking into the HJC AC-12 helmet. Seems to be a good lid with great features for a nice price. But I'm gonna wait until I can try it on before I order it. I spent about an hour reading up on helmets here . Definitly turned me away from a few brands like Icon for example. Anyway, gotta get to work.



blah blah blah

So, I'm trying to decide what to do with myself about school and work. This debate seems to be going around right now. I want to go back to school but I don't know what I want to go for. I'd like to get some rough idea before applying. I've pondered everything from following in my Grandfather's footsteps and being a machinist to teaching (philosophy, science, ???) and even some forensics. But the problem is my wide range of interests. And (I know this is stupid) I almost feel like it's too late to start college. I know that's bullshit and I only feel that way because so much importance was placed on college in High School. Fuck, I'm only gonna turn 28 this year, I better figure something out. I know I don't want to be in IT/Telecom anymore. The people are generally boring and I seem to have lost my ability to seperate myself from work. Maybe the few cool jobs I've had in the past have ruined my work mindset. Don't get me wrong, I still show up and do my job but I just don't like it.

Screw all the non bike crap...

On to more important things. Tomorrow Funkz and I will be braving the 25degree weather to hit the shop and get more done. I plan on pulling the front and rear sprockets, drive chain and mounting that ignition cover. I might even extend that wiring if my fingers don't fall off first. I got outbid on that headlight bucket and now I can't find a decent one. I'm gonna wait until Cycle Recycle has one, maybe get all my stuff at once. My tax checks came through today but I'm gonna be dropping most of it on furniture for our new swank apartment. The RedQueen and I moved last weekend and it rocks. We're going to have Funkz take some black and white pics of our bikes and frame them. Plus RQ wants to find cool old school vintage pics (I want some boardtrack racing) to frame as well. Dammit I'm lucky to have a girl that loves vintage bikes.
I wish I had gotten into bikes much sooner in life but my grandparents would barely let me have a minibike with a tiny 3hp Tecumsah pullstart. If I had an earlier start, maybe I could have enough experience built up to start a shop. I'd love to just build up old bikes and sell 'em. But I like building rats and I doubt we'd sell very many of them. Indy is full of weekend warriors and replica racers.


1 point for UK Media

Click Me!

It's a damn shame we don't have commercials like this in the US. No one wants to drop that beer or sitcom ad.


sweet mother of God!

Yesterday we picked up the crankcase from BnC and grabbed a few supplies, including White Castle. Then we headed to the shop to start work. The new clutch pack is in, new gaskets all around and the engine is now assembled! I skipped working on the wiring harness so we could install the engine. It took some serious effort and I think a shoe horn was involved but we finally got the 140lb chunk of metal wedged into the frame.

From here on out, it's a lot of minor things like sprockets, headlight, reconnect the wiring harness and other misc things. But getting that engine in felt like a major step. There's still about 3 months left before prime riding time starts up and I think it might actually be running by then. Still needs to be tuned and timed but we'll deal with that once everything else is done. I was going to switch over to a solid state ignition module but I'm gonna wait until after it runs.

The Red Queen got some cool pics of us working and there will be more to come once she gets her film developed and I find our scanner. We're still trying to find a CL or CB 450 for her, so if you know of one for sale, let me know. There's gotta be a few sitting around the midwest that I can pick up for a couple hundred bucks.

Here you go, a real pick of my 1973 CL450 Frankencycle:



BnC just called, the crankcase is done and in great shape! They went through checked, tested and cleaned everything. The oil pump is working great and even the old clutch pack is still good. But, I'm gonna replace that since I already have a brand new one. So, the plans have changed a bit for Saturday's wrenching session. Shouldn't take us long to assemble the engine and get it thrown in the bike. The hardest part will be finding all the mounting hardware! We'll have to tackle the wiring first. Then move on to the engine transplant. Pictures will be taken, fun will be had and there might even be some tool throwing. I'm giddy like a little kid before Christmas! There's still plenty to do after the engine is in but it's pretty rinky dink stuff.



Busy busy weekend ahead, lots of shop time, dinner with friends from out of town and misc other things to accomplish. Still no word about my crankcase but I've got a handy dandy list of what needs to be done this weekend. Hopefully the RedQueen will be feeling well enough to go with us, she's been sickly. Maybe I'll return with some pics from this weekend.

I found a couple of Sportys that are pretty kick ass. It would be a hell of a project to build one of these. But I think it might be my next goal. Won't be anytime soon but something to look forward to. I don't hate HD or even dislike them. I dislike the rolling billboards and the Harley snobs. Unfortunatly this town is full of them . I could definitly cruise one of these monstrosities. I wonder how the V-Twin, in all it's shaky glory would hold up as a "sport" bike, like these.

Hmm..... wonder how much you could get an older, perhaps slightly damaged sportster for. I don't think it would take much to do this conversion, but that tank has got to be atleast $400. Probably take a load of cash to convert it to chain drive as well. Definitly have to stick with the spoke rims, the look so much better than mag style. That's one of the many factors that made me decide not to do the CBR disc swap on the CL450. Gonna go with an older CB disc for the front and keep the rear drum. But that all depends on how bad the front drums are, if I can tolerate it, then I'm gonna keep 'em stock. Save the swap money for other ideas.

Behold the coolest Harelys ever to tear up the asphalt:


break something, fix something

Made it to the shop today and did a little work. I picked up a pair of new (to me) shocks from Cycle Recycle and a universal brake lever. But the micro switch in my old lever was smoked so I guess my brake light won't work except w/my rear brake. No big deal, use them both at the same time. Got the new on/off switch control module thingy installed but not wired. I had to literarlly destroy my headlight housing (cheap plastic that was already broken). I refuse to try to connect all those damn wires behind my headlight and jam that rats nest in there. So, I'm gonna go with a universal headlight and just heat wrap all those wires. I also pulled the harness apart and decided to rewire it another time. The new ignition switch has to be extended and I found a switch holder from some other Honda that I need to go back to CRC2 to buy. So, I guess I made some progress but also set myself back a little bit.

No matter what I do it just doesn't seem to get me any closer to being mobile. But I think a big portion of that is the large gapping hole where my engine will go. Seems to make all the work pointless. Oh well, BnC is gonna start on my crankcase next week. So, maybe I'll have the damn engine back and ready to rock in a week or 2. I'll post some pics once it's in. Monday, we're putting the big ass work bench in the shop. I won it for $20 at work in a silent auction. Here's a pic but it won't have the big white flimsy shelf on top.


to the dungeon with you!

So I'm working at the other hospital now, doing the E911 thing again. Oh the joy.

The Red Queen and I ended up making a hurried trip to TN due to a family emergency. Things aren't as bad as we thought but time will tell. Funks, the Queen and I are gonna try to get some wrench time in this weekend. I've got to take my manual up to BnC and maybe hit the parts shop for some misc items. I'm gonna try to get a universal brake lever and bar end mirrors. Still no word about my crankcase but I'll ask while I'm at BnC. I got my cam chain and ignition switch in the mail. Now I need to get a good chain breaker so I won't ruin another cam chain. There's lots of little rinky dink stuff I need to buy but I'm waiting to get the engine installed first. I need custom cables made, brake shoes, sprockets, a chain and new tires. I found some kick ass Dual Sport tires by Avon. I believe they're called the Distanzas. Still need to order my brainbucket, sticking with the Simpson GS3-MX. The weather is still flip flopping like mad. Yesterday it was 20-something with snow and ice. Today it's gonna hit the mid 50's. I think Mother Nature needs some meds because she seems to be a bit bipolar. Hahhaa..that's a pun, laugh dammit, it's funny! Probably the best pun you'll hear for the next 5 or 6 years.

back to work...


shop time

This weekend Funkz and I will be hitting the shop. He's pulling his rotors and prepping them to be turned and then cross drilled. I'll be hiting Cycle Recycle to grab a few items I need to finish before the engine comes back. Thankfully, I found a camchain on ebay that uses a master link and even a new ignition switch with not one but two keys! I have some wiring to tackle, parts to prep and other misc odds and ends to take care of. Funkz has the most work to do but it's better than not having anything to do. The RedQueen is heading to TN tomorrow so she'll miss out on the grease monkey time but I told her there's plenty of things to do. I'm still in awe that she had fun helping me rip apart the old engine and wants to help work on my bike. She even still wants to get one of her own someday. Definitly super cool!



mission complete

The Queen and I dropped off the crankcase to BnC. They're gonna check through it, clean it up and possibly build me a 16mm locknut socket. This mythical socket is required to change my poor excuse for an oil filtration system, ye olde centrifical sludge trap. Many hours of searching has yielded no sources for such a socket. I was going to have my grandfather make one since he's the head machinist but he's being forced into early retirement. So that's a bust but maybe BnC can make one. Probably cost me an pretty penny but I'll need it.

I think the crankcase might be done in a few weeks. To bad I'm being transfered to a different hospital. Now, I can't skip lunch and leave a little early to pick it up when it's ready. I'll have to do it on a Saturday. I'm not happy about going to the East hospital but I'm a contractor so I have no choice but to obey. Plus it's why they hired me on. Time to build another 10,000+ phone number database with location and user info. Oh the joy! Last one took me about 7 months, I hope this goes much much faster. I'm trying to get the boss to assign someone to help me with the project so I can get my scrawny ass back to the North hospital. Anywho, enough of this, time for breakfast.


I picked up my new crankcase yesterday. While I was digging through the backroom of the shop, something caught my eye. At first, all I saw was the vintage Honda tank w/the rubber knee pads. Then I noticed the scrambler exhaust.
So, I wheel it out and I'm in shock. Sitting before me is a 1965 Honda CL72! I tracked down the owner and he said it runs and he'll take $800 for it. We tried to kick her over but no go. So, they're gonna clean it up a bit and see if she'll start. I'm gonna check back in month or so.
If they still have it then I'm gonna make a low ball offer. It definitly needs a good once over, a tail light and some signals but nothing too bad. My better half recently said she wants to find a cool bike (cue the heavenly music) and ride with me. So, I'm thinking that would make a hell of a first bike! Definitly need to make some changes, like a standard ignition instead of points and some other mods but nothing major.

So what do you guys think? Worth the $$$? I'm gonna try to low ball him starting at $500 but only if they get it running.

Tomorrow, The Red Queen (my better half) and I are gonna play grease monkeys. We'll be tearing down the new engine I bought so I can get the crankcase to the machine shop. I'm still pretty stoked about that CL72. It's a rolling piece of history. She'd definitly be the only person in town riding a 41 year old Honda. We'll probably fight over who gets to ride it some days, it's just too cool not to ride. But, I'm trying to not get my hopes up about it because they might not have it by the time I get my tax check. If not, I'll find something equally as cool for her.

In non-vintage news, yesterday Funkz (owner of the CB750SS) and I gave stripper bike (the EX500) a good rolling start and slammed her into 2nd. The gates of heaven opened up and rained heavenly light upon us as we heard the engine cycle over and try to start! She's not locked up but will probably need a rebuild regardless. It's not my project, it's my buddy Mark's when ever he gets around to starting it. It's a pretty sweet little scoot, especially without all that stupid plastic. Looks hella MadMax meets Akira. So, if he never starts working on it, I might take it over. But that's all just speculation. The CL450 has full priority until the day it runs. Still pondering the full disc swap but one thing at a time.

Hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year's Eve. Here's to 2006, it's gonna be a great year!